Thursday, October 15, 2009

In Defense of Rush Limbaugh's Rams bid

One of the most successful organizations in the world, the National Football League, disappoints me in many ways these days.

They refuse to lift their asinine blackout television rules during a hideous recession, they make rules specifically for specific star quarterbacks that affect the way the game should be played and the direct outcome of some contests, they stifle the brilliantly funny Chad Ochocinco, and they won't allow Rush Limbaugh to become a minority owner of arguably its weakest and worst team, the St. Louis Rams.

There are three kinds of people in this country today: those who love/tend to agree with Rush, those who hate/cannot stand Rush, and those who are too out of touch/too stupid to even know who he is.

If those are my options, then fine, I love/tend to agree with Rush.

I really don't, but I just pigeonholed America with three contrasting options, and I'm not going to go back and rephrase it.

(By the way, I found the nicest picture of Rush on the internet. Doesn't look like a bad guy, right?)

I don't listen to him too often, because it's a weird time slot... I mean he's on at like 10am on the West Coast, and most of us are going to school or work and can't really listen to him bellow about the radical left and Barack Obama's America for two hours a morning. When I do listen to him, I can't say that I disagree with too much he says. Sorry, I'm a conservative, nothing I can do about that.

I TOTALLY understand why people hate him, and so does he. He plays on it. Rush is brash and outlandish, forceful and edgy. He is an excellent speaker who knows exactly what he wants to get across, and does it in a way that delights many of his hardcore listeners and disgusts the rest.

It's just one of those things.

What bothers me the most about this situation, is that there is a lot of hypocrisy and groupthinking going on by a group of owners and a players union that forced out a viable and qualified minority owner candidate, simply because of his views.

I'm sorry, last time I checked, this was America.

Not only did these bandwagoning owners band together out of fear and spinelessness, but the instantaneous campaign that sprung forth after the Checketts-Limbaugh news broke was mostly fabrications.

Sure, Limbaugh said this in 2003 (and we've all heard it):

"Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go," Limbaugh said. "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

Yes, it is divisive. No, it is not politically correct. But it's an opinion, and I don't believe it to be a racist one. It involves race, but that doesn't make it racist, and it doesn't make Rush a racist.

Back to this campaign...

You hear guys like the Colts' owner Jim Irsay, say, "Oh well, this guy is too divisive, and we don't like the comments he makes."

What comments Jim? Are we back on the McNabb thing AGAIN?

Maybe they were the 10 racist Rush Limbaugh quotes that are copied and pasted all over the internet.

Many of these quotes are either badly or indirectly sourced, some over 30 years old, and others just sourced to news articles by reputable sources that contain the quotes-- themselves not sourcing them to an audio clip.

An example:

"The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."

The source given for this quote is to an article on FAIR's website (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting)-- itself not sourcing this quote to anything at all., a fairly solid source for internet rumors and commonly held myths and beliefs, traces this quote...

" far back as 1992, so the only documentation (they've) been able to locate for it is indirect. All sources (they've) found that reference it cite the January 1993 issue of 'Flush Rush Quarterly' as their source.

A 1992 issue of Flush Rush Quarterly is the source? WTF is that anyway?

So look, some of this stuff is true, and some is not. Apparently Rush did say:

"Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it."

That statement alone is definitely on the racist side. But it was said within a much, much broader statement on his radio show in which he took a call about the NFL and its celebrations. Also from within that response is the following quote:

"Ladanian Tomlinson to me is the classiest player in the NFL. He doesn't do a dance, he doesn't spike the ball when he scores. He and Marvin Harrison are the two most classy individuals playing in the NFL today."


Look, he was just making a point. Although most of NFL's celebrations are funny and enjoyable, a lot of it is excessive, especially the sack dances. But if you didn't know anything about football and didn't know anything about Bloods or Crips, would you draw similarities between these behaviors?

If you can't see the embedded videos, click here.

NFL celebrations


The point in all of this is yes, Rush can be a jerk. A lot of people are offended by what he says. But I believe that this world is far too PC for its own good. In addition, most of the people who don't like Rush haven't even listened to more than 5 minutes of his show in their lives. They hear about the controversies, they know his political stances, they read shady internet quotes presented as fact, and decide that he's a racist and has no right to spend his own money to purchase part of a business.

It's the same thing I get when I tell people I watch the O'Reilly factor. Oh, he's a jerk, he's a liar, he sucks, he's a racist.... bla, bla, bla. Fox News, radical right, bla, bla, bla.

Yeah, and when was the last time you tuned in to the O'Reilly factor?

On the other hand, I understand Roger Goodell's efforts to thwart any kind of bad press. With, oh, I don't know, 400+ NFL players in the last 10 years being arrested, the league has a big problem. A few of note come to mind: Mike Vick and his dogfighting, Donte Stallworth ran a guy over and killed him, Pacman Jones, Shawne Merriman, Rae Carruth, Travis Henry, Leonard Little, the Cincy Bengals of a few years ago, Pacman Jones...

While Goodell has done a decent job of really laying down the law with players acting up, how bad could it have been to have Rush as a part owner of the Rams? He wouldn't be an Al Davis, Jerry Jones, or Dan Snyder. He's not going to be in the locker room after every game and trading for high priced receivers or drafting JaMarcus Russell. The guy wanted to own a slice of a struggling team in his home state.

And how about this?

Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony, Venus & Serena Williams, Jimmy Buffett, Emilio & Gloria Estefan are all minority partners with the Miami Dolphins.


Okay, Dan, but none of those people make comments like Rush.

Yeah, but what do they say at their concerts? Anything political there?

And another example... Dan Rooney, owner of the Steelers, openly campaigned for Obama during his presidential run. In fact, he was such a big supporter, that Obama named Rooney the ambassador to Ireland (talk about a dream gig by the way.)

This isn't supposed to be about Obama, but it's just hypocritical of the NFL to say, yes, drunken wife beaters are allowed in our league, and outspoken Democrats are allowed to own teams, but Rush isn't.

I wonder what would happen if he tried to buy an NBA team?

"Yeah, Rush, we allow sleazy Russian billionaires and Jay-Z to own the New Jersey Nets, but you... you're too controversial."

It's all just a little two-faced, and I don't care for it. Although I've defended Michael Vick before, I just want this question answered:

How is Vick allowed to play and Rush isn't allowed to own a team?

I'm sorry. I thought this was America.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Limbaugh is just as bad as Sharpton and Jackson. ironically, one thing they can agree upon is that they all hate Obama.

this is an excerpt from an ESPN article that I liked:

All franchise sales must be approved by 24 of the NFL's 32 teams -- an ownership group that is overwhelmingly white, conservative and focused on the bottom line, which could have suffered if fans or advertisers were angered by Limbaugh.

"There's an argument that says the very principles Rush espouses -- the free market -- are what did him in," said the conservative radio host Michael Smerconish. "This IS the free market. These are private businessmen who made a decision about what was in the best business interest of their thriving venture.

"It's definitely ironic. There's a bit of hypocrisy here as well," Smerconish said, citing a study that showed 70 percent of NFL owners' political contributions went to Republicans. "Through their dollars they are very supportive of the sort of politics that Rush talks."

Friday, October 16, 2009  

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